A Supreme Court bench headed by Justice R K Agrawal today recused itself from hearing the plea of BJP leader Subramanian Swamy against the order of an Assam trial court issuing a non-bailable warrant against him for failing to appear before it in a case of alleged hate speech.
The bench, also comprising Justice Amitava Roy, referred the matter to another bench saying, “If it has to come before another bench, why apply mind. List it before another bench on June 22.”
Senior advocate Ram Jethmalani, who was appearing for Swamy, then asked the bench “In the meantime, what should the man do if there is an order that he be arrested and produced before the judge.” To this, the bench said that till June 22 nothing will happen but refused to pass an interim order. “We cannot pass any interim order,” it said.However, it allowed Swamy to mention it before Chief Justice H L Dattu after Jethmalani sought permission.
“You have the liberty to mention it before the Chief Justice,” the bench said.Earlier, on May 21, a judge of the apex court had recused from hearing his plea challenging the validity of some penal provisions relating to “hate speech”.
The apex court was hearing Swamy’s plea against the order of an Assam trial court issuing an NBW against him for failing to appear before it on March 19 in a case of alleged hate speech.
The NBW was issued on June 1 by a court in Karimganj on a complaint accusing him of allegedly delivering an inflammatory address on March 15 at Kaziranga University.The Karimganj court had ordered that the arrest warrant be complied with on or before June 30.